Speedwell Engine No. 2, Pigeon Cove, Mass., circa 1915

Here is another postcard from the collection of Rockport’s Merry Seppala. The caption on it says, “Auto combination hose and chemical wagon built by members of the Speedwell Engine Company, Pigeon Cove, Mass.” The card was published by Rockport Photo Bureau. It has no date, but the reverse side says that it was printed in Germany, which indicates that it was printed prior to 1917 and the advent of World War I.

In the Nov. 1, 1913, issue of a magazine called The Power Wagon, in a section entitled “Motor Fire Apparatus Notes,” I found a one-line reference that said, “Pigeon Cove has a new motor chemical.” I do not know whether that is the same vehicle pictured here, but, if so, that would tell us the date of the engine.

I searched photographs of antique fire engines from that era looking for others that matched the appearance of this one. I found several that looked similar, from various manufacturers, but none that looked identical. If the caption is correct — that the members of the Speedwell Company built this themselves — that was quite an accomplishment.

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